Germany indicts leader of main far-right party NPD

26th March 2008, Comments 0 comments

Udo Voigt, leader of the German far-right party NPD, has been indicted for sedition and insult after a party document mocked a black player in Germany's national football team.

Berlin -- Udo Voigt, leader of the German far-right party NPD, has been indicted for sedition and insult after a party document mocked a black player in Germany's national football team, public prosecutors from the state of Berlin said Tuesday.

No date has been set yet for the trial of Voigt and two aides, who are accused of ultimate responsibility for the publication of an NPD wall diary, which claimed Patrick Owomoyela and other dark-skinned players were not fit to be on the World Cup team.

The NPD, or National Democratic Party of Germany, is overtly hostile to both immigrants and ethnic minorities.

The German crime of sedition includes stirring up hatred against other ethnic groups. Insult can also be a criminal offence in Germany. The wall diary was distributed as a leaflet and offered for download via the Internet just before the 2006 World Cup.

The German Football Association DFB laid a criminal complaint against the party and police seized several thousand leaflets.

Owomoyela, who is a German citizen, plays for the first division club Bremen.

The NPD has no seats in national parliament, but in Saxony, an eastern German state, which has repeatedly been associated with neo- Nazi violence against foreigners, voters handed 12 out of the 124 state legislature seats to the NPD in a 2004 election.

In Mecklenburg-West Pomerania state, the NPD, the biggest of three far-right parties in Germany, later won six seats.

The two aides charged in the case were Klaus Beier, who is party spokesman and NPD chairman in Brandenburg state, and Frank Schwerdt, a member of the national executive and chairman in Thuringia state.

Another executive member, the party's treasurer, Erwin Kemna, has been arrested on unrelated charges of fraud involving 627,000 euros from party funds.

DPA with Expatica

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